Do I Have a Raccoon Problem?

The Hudson Valley’s climate and beautiful forests means its citizens are no strangers to the raccoon. Known for its nocturnal nature, raccoons can grow up to 3 feet long, and can be identified by their masked face and ringed tails. Known for their extraordinary fishing skills, raccoons tend to build their dens near small ponds and rivers. However, their scavenger-like nature leads them into urban areas in search of food, refuge, and areas to raise their young in the cold seasons. Raccoons are most recognized for their mischievous nature, most commonly related to scavenging and tipping over trash cans. However, like many urban pests, raccoons can construct dens in homes, particularly in roofs and chimneys, or under sheds, garages, and other outbuildings. If you find yourself with a raccoon infestation, what should you do?


The easiest and most common way to spot a raccoon infestation would be a physical sighting. Since raccoons are scavengers, they typically create a lot of ruckus while invading an area. Some obvious signs may be damage to your lawn, home, or garbage cans. You may notice tracks, especially if they are living underneath a porch or outbuilding. In addition, raccoons can tear off fascia or shingles to gain access to your roof or other parts of the house. Mother raccoons enjoy building their dens inside of chimneys, where they can raise their babies in warmth. Once weaning them, they tend to move their young to a different location. If you have chickens or other birds living in your yard, you will notice signs of disruption, as raccoons will eat most bird eggs. They also may invade gardens, leaving tracks or other signs of disruption.

Prevention, and Exclusion

The best way to remove a raccoon from your home or lawn is by calling the professionals. If you find that you have an infestation, call the professionals at R. Dana Pest Control. We can assist you with exclusion methods and repellents are available. Many places in the U.S. issue ordinances that require a raccoon to be relocated properly, so never attempt to trap or remove a raccoon yourself. Raccoons can carry many diseases, and bites may require medical attention.

Some ways to prevent raccoons from entering areas around your home are:

  • Seal any part of the home where pests may gain access. Look for holes at least 4 inches in diameter, particularly in access doors, gaps, crawl spaces, roofs, chimneys, and under decks and porches.
  • Cut trees back 6-8 feet to prevent access to roof.
  • Install caps or roof vents to prevent nesting raccoons.
  • Limit available water sources. This includes covering pools and creating proper drainage to prevent pooling.
  • Eliminate potential food sources. This includes covering compost piles, eliminating access to fruit and other food, especially pet food.
  • Consider electrical fences around your property, especially gardens. Raccoons can find weaknesses in traditionally fenced in areas.
  • Use metal or heavy trash cans. Also, consider support racks so they cannot be tipped over.